Summary: Arthur lived how he wanted. Exactly how he wanted. Unfortunately, as a
prince, what he wanted didn’t exactly follow the guidelines of what the
rest of the world considered ‘proper’. No one had the guts to do
anything about it, however. No one until Nimueh. Thrown into
decidedly impossible circumstances against his will and outside of his
capacity to correct, Arthur is forced to seek the help of an 'Emrys’ to
scavenge what is left of the life he was so cruelly torn from. It would
certainly be a whole lot easier if Emrys would just listen to him as he
was supposed to. Arthur was a prince, right? Emrys was supposed to
listen to him. Apparently not everyone in the world puts much stock in royal status. As if life wasn’t difficult enough already.
~ Written for Merlin Holidays 2016 ~
Rating: M (but probably closer to T)
Tags: Merlin/Arthur, Modern Fairytale AU, Fantasy, Magic, Modern Royalty, Omnilingualism, Frogs (naturally), Slow Burn, Pining
Merlin grows up in Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, so does Arthur.
Comments: This fic is just lovely. It was nice to see Merlin and Arthur growing up together, and even though they popped in and out of each other’s lives you could tell how much they cared for one another, especially when they were older. The banter was great as well, and I loved how Merlin always challenged Arthur. A great fic!
Part II: “Everything I’ve worked for, everything I care about, it’s all for this family!” Stan Pines as the Modern Tragic Hero
Unlike the classical tragic hero, which focuses on stories of great people falling from great heights while the fates of whole societies hang in the balance, playwright Arthur Miller advocated for a different type of tragedy. His was the domestic drama between a person and their family or a person and their community in conflict with that character’s set beliefs. Instead of royalty, generals, gods, and demons, Miller’s tragedy examined everyday misunderstandings and sacrifices that still have the power to touch upon the universal in the same way classic myths do.
The first is that the tragic hero should display an intensity of feeling and passion. That person wears their heart on their sleeve; they are committed to a core set of values, and no matter what else they do, they will stick by their own ethics over anything else, and committed to whatever quest they give themselves based on these set of beliefs.
The second aspect is that the tragic hero should be aware of the social implications of their choices. Whether society deems it “good” or “bad”, the tragic hero knows the risks. Even if the tragic hero cannot fully express or intellectualize the consequences of their actions, they know how much danger they put themselves and others at risk by upholding the values they do, yet do so anyway.
Death of a Salesman and All My Sons are known as two of Miller’s greatest plays. In both simple men in ordinary suburban lives struggle to keep their families together, but also know they are at fault for estranging their loved ones because of mistakes they had made. In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman pressures his two sons to be successful businessmen, but his son Biff distances himself from Willy after discovering his extramarital affair. Willy later kills himself in a car accident out of hope Biff could use the insurance money to start a business, which Biff decides not to do. In All My Sons, Joe Keller is a respected factory owner who built himself from the ground up to support his family; his son Chris is a WWII vet suffering from PTSD. When Chris discovers his father had sold shoddy airplane parts during the war in order to be successful, he kills himself out of disappointment and grief. Small choices have major consequences in Miller’s tragedies. Stanley Pines and his backstory can easily be a science-fictional version of a Miller tragic hero.